Tai Chi Chuan evidence related to impulsivity and impulse related disorders: A scoping review

Author: Djanira Ribeiro da Silva1, Ciro Blujus Dos Santos Rohde2, Hermano Tavares2
1 Instituto de Psiquiatria, Hospital das Clinicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, R. André de Bom Furlanes, 252. Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, SP, 18057-030, Brazil. Electronic address: djanira.ribeiro@hc.fm.usp.br.
2 Departamento de Psiquiatria, Hospital das Clinicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, R. Dr. Ovídio Pires de Campos, 785 - Cerqueira César, Sao Paulo, SP, 05403-903, Brazil.
Conference/Journal: J Bodyw Mov Ther
Date published: 2024 Apr 1
Other: Volume ID: 38 , Pages: 583-592 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2024.03.038. , Word Count: 232

The purpose of this study was to review the evidence for the potential of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) as a model of meditative movement in benefiting people with impulsivity related disorders and provide guidance for future research.

A scoping review of the literature was conducted in five databases. Eligibility criteria were original articles reporting TCC based interventions or included TCC techniques and provided any assessment on impulsivity or related measures, impulse control disorders, or other psychiatric disorders related to impulsivity (e.g., addictive disorders, ADHD, and other conduct disorders). Twenty-eight out of 304 studies initially retrieved were reviewed. The reports concentrated mostly on neurodegenerative conditions, cognitive decline, and substance use disorders (SUD).

TCC had several positive effects in cognitive domains resulting in improvements in memory, executive functions, inhibitory control, attention, and verbal fluency. These improvements in memory, executive function, including inhibitory control and attention, and verbal fluency were associated with changes in the brain plasticity, resting activity, and other neurobiological markers.

Albeit no study was found on the use of TCC in impulse control disorders or impulse related conditions, other than SUD, the findings suggest that considering the behavioral impact of TCC, especially the improvement of executive functions, it could be a valuable therapeutic tool for approaching impulse control related disorders.

Keywords: Addictive disorder; Executive function; Impulsive control; Impulsivity; Tai Chi Chuan; Tai ji quan.

PMID: 38763612 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2024.03.038